VDOT preps for Hurricane Irene, clears drains

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VDOT crews are in prep mode right now for Hurricane Irene. Crews have been out all week clearing out drains and doing other work to get ready for the storm and its impact on Central Virginia.

You may remember in March of last year, a 6-mile backup on Interstate 95, all because of some heavy rain and a drain clogged with debris. Or how about on I-195 from December of last year? Another clogged drain. And another driving problem.

That's exactly why VDOT crews have been out all week, in prep mode for Irene -- clearing these drains along the interstates, "just getting the roads cleared so if we get that heavy rain, the water won't accumulate on the road," says Dawn Eischen with VDOT.

We actually saw the work that has been done along 95 in Chesterfield County -- the drains were debris free.

Speaking of drains, remember there's a major drain project underway along Midlothian Turnpike to make sure the road flooding, doesn't play out again.

But, the work is not done yet. "Midlothian Turnpike is still a work in progress. At German School Road, there is the potential for flooding as a result of this storm," adds Eischen.

With our meteorologists expecting several inches of rain this weekend, you don't want to drive through any road that don't look like a road anymore.

"If you are driving down the road and you see a lot of water on the road, just don't expect the road to be there underneath," says Eischen.

VDOT will switch into emergency operations mode early Saturday morning. Crews are also suspending any maintenance or construction projects on the interstates through at least Sunday.

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